Bike Route Planning With BikeRoll

BikeRoll is a free online tool where bike routes can be planned. In what follows, it is presented how to use BikeRoll to plan awesome and unforgettable cycle routes.

Step 1: How to Start

Go to the BikeRoll page https://bikeroll.net or
Download the Android app from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net....

There following optional steps will make your life easier:

  1. If you allow location sharing (top left corner), a random bike route will be generated in your area, after the page is loaded.
  2. In the top right corned you can choose the language in which you want to use BikeRoll.

Step 2: Plan Your Route

The easiest way to plan a bike route is to use the search bar from the top left corner where you can enter the origin and destination of your route. Here, you can also specify the bike type you want to use, i.e., Foot/MTB (taught mountain bike), MTB (mountain bike), Simple Bike (safest solution), Road bike, or Car/Road Bike (road bike or route near cars).

(TIP: leave the origin or destination fields empty to generate a random route in the area)

Another way for route planning is to use the right click menu (long-press on mobile) on the map. Here, you can also select the origin or destination. Furthermore, mid-points can be added between the origin and the destination where the route should go through. Then, origin, destination, and mid-points can be dragged anywhere on the map.

The right click menu offers the undo and redo options to make route planning easier. These option can be applied using shortcuts as well (Z-undo and U-redo). Note that all the shortcuts can be found in the Tips and Tricks from the top left menu.

Step 3: Check the Difficulty

There are two key features which determine the difficulty of a route:

(1) It length and total ascent of the route. These statistics are shown on the left side, above the elevation profile.

(2) The elevation profile along the route. BikeRoll offers a color-coded elevation profile where different colors represent different slopes as follows:

  • Green (slope < -20%): a pretty steep descent
  • Blue (-20% < slope < 6%): relatively flat terrain
  • Yellow (6% < slope < 12%): fairly easy ascent
  • Red (12% < slope < 48%): quite hard climb
  • Black (slope > 48%): impossible climb, you will get off your bike

Note that the color limits are default values, they can be changed as shown in the following section.

By hovering on the elevation profile you can see where exactly the hard parts are on the route.

Additionally, by clicking on the length, ascent, or descent of the route, even more statistics are shown. Here, you can see the lengths of each difficulty segments.

Step 4: Set Your Preferences

You can change the following site settings:

  • The unit of the measurement to Metric or Imperial
  • Set if road surface type to be shown or now
  • The slope color limits for the elevation profile, i.e., the limits of each color.

Step 5: Check the Weather Forecast

While planning any bike route, a five day weather forecast is generated above the elevation profile (right side), thus, extreme weather can be avoided easily.

Step 6: Save the Route

After a route is finally planned, it can be saved using the buttons from the top right corner. Here, you can also list or share all your saved routes as well. Routes can be renamed and deleted. You can also add notes to each saved route not to forget any details about them.

Note that to use this feature, you must log in using your Facebook or Google account.

Step 7: Share the Route

Once the route is saved you can share it using the share button from the top right corner.

To show it to your friends via social media you post it directly to Facebook, Google, or Twitter.

If you want to show it on your blog, you can copy the predefined iframe and paste it into the HTML source of your blog. Thus, the planned route appearing on your blog will also contain some useful statistics, e.g., elevation, ascent, descent, and the elevation profile.

Step 8: Do Not Get Lost

There are three possibilities BikeRoll can help you not to get lost:

  1. Download a PDF summary of the route (from the top left menu). After printing it, this paper summary can be used while biking to keep on track.
  2. Export the GPX track of the route (from the top left menu). This GPX track can be uploaded to any tracking device that will keep you on the the path.
  3. Use the BikeRoll site on your mobile phone while biking. No matter where you are, your actual position is always updated (concentric red circles) on the BikeRoll site, thus, you can check anytime if you are off the route. Note that no app download is required.

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